punctatus (L.) = dotted. In reference to the dotted culms.
WCM Protologue Reference:
Pillans, Trans. Roy. Soc. South Africa 16: 376 (1928)
Vegetative parts: plants tufted, 0.4–1 m tall, basal diameter 0.2–0.3 m, crown diameter 0.5–0.6 m, compact, without spreading rhizomes or stolons or with rhizomes. Rhizome very short with culms aggregated at base or slender, looping up to one or several culms, 1–2 mm in diam., culms 2–15 mm apart. Fertile culms unbranched, smooth or finely rugulose, olivaceous, 0.4–1 m tall, diameter at base 0.7–1.6 mm, diameter at apex 0.6–1 mm. Clusters of sterile branches at the nodes of the fertile branches present or absent. Sterile branches present post flowering. Sheaths closely convoluted, 25–40 mm long, base yellow green, central portion red brown becoming lighter towards the margins, apical margins broadly chartaceous and soon decaying, hyaline shoulders absent or tall, acute (on some young sheaths), hyaline shoulder 0.1–0.2 of sheath body length, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acuminate. Sheath-mucro absent. Sterile branch leaf-sheath 2–3 mm long, hyaline shoulder 2–3 mm long, lacerated, leaf-blade 5–6 mm long; leaf blade 0.3–0.5 mm wide. Males: male inflorescence with 21–50 spikelets or 50–100 spikelets, paniculate, 70–130 mm long, 30–40 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, shorter than spikelets, chartaceous, soon decaying. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets pendulous on flexible pedicels, oblong, apex rounded, 12–20 mm, 3–4 mm, with 16–36 flowers, pedicels shorter than the spikelets, flattened. Male bracts taller than flowers, 4–5.5 mm long, oblong, acute, chartaceous, bract upper margin like body of bract or membranous, thinner texture than the body, bract awn minute or absent, brick-red. Male flower 2.5–3 mm long. Male tepals sepals and petals the same rigidity, chartaceous or cartilaginous, linear or oblong, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals keeled or winged, glabrous. Anthers 1–1.6 mm long, included in the flowers. Pistillode absent. Females: female inflorescence linear or paniculate or racemose, 33–140 mm long, 10–20 mm wide, with 2–5 spikelets or 6–10 spikelets or 11–20 spikelets. Female spathes as long as the spikelets or longer than the spikelets, not obscuring spikelet, persistent (splitting and decaying), chartaceous. Female spikelet pedicel simple or pedicel sparsely branching, oblong, apex rounded, 10–25 mm long, with 6–50 flowers, with 0 sterile bracts. Female bracts at least twice as long as flowers, 7–9 mm long, oblong, acute, cartilaginous, apical margin like rest of bract, same as body of bract, awn minute or absent. Female flower 2–3 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel. Female tepals cartilaginous or membranous, glabrous and smooth, at least as tall as nut, wrapped around it and obscuring the surface, midrib flush with the tepal body, apices obtuse, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals keeled or winged, wings entire, wings lateral sepals decurrent, without grooves, wider than body, 2–3 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 2–2.4 mm long. Female inner tepals ovate, 1.7–2.4 mm long. Staminodes absent. Styles plumose, white, 1. Ovary with 1 locule, indehiscent. Fruit: indehiscent fruits with a softer ovary wall. Perianth presence on fruits persistent, winged. Shape of winged dispersal unit orbicular. Nut apex smooth, without a distinct cap, wall smooth (slightly rough from tuberculate epidermal cells), (1.12–)1.46(–1.6) mm long, (0.8–)0.97(–1.12) mm diam., shape in side view elliptical, shape in top view elliptical in cross section (with lateral ridges), brown. Elaiosome absent.